Graham Dancers to Perform Works by Zall, Topping, 5/21-22
The Deborah Zall Project presents both current and former members of the Martha Graham Dance Company in "In the Company of Women, and Guests," an evening of dances by Zall, along with the solo Robot Man choreographed by guest Kenneth Topping, former principal dancer and director of the Graham Dance Ensemble.
By Deborah Zall are several of her dramatic solos based on female characters from classic plays: Mary Tyrone and Amanda, to name just two, and the world premiere of Miriam, set to an original score by Stephen Weinstock. Two performances, May 21 & 22 at 8 PM at the Martha Graham Studio Theatre, 55 Bethune Street.Zall has assembled a remarkable cast that consists of two current Graham Company principals, Blakely White-McGuire and Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, company members Lauren Newman, Dani Stringer, and Gildas Lemonnier, and former Graham dancers Nya Bowman, Jennifer Conley, Erica Dankmeyer, Whitney Hunter, and Kim Jones. The Deborah Zall Project was initiated by Graham dancers who approached Ms. Zall with the request that she teach and coach them in her solos. Following last year's successful studio showings, the Company looks forward to presenting the works before a larger audience in a fully staged production. The dances are not only technically demanding, but allow the artists to shine in roles that call for maturity and the dramatic intensity that is part of their Graham heritage. Zall herself will make an appearance in her new work Miriam, set to an original score by composer Stephen Weinstock, along with film and lighting by Farley Whitfield. Other dances on the program are Zall's "Amanda," to an original score by Stephen Weinstock and inspired by Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. Mary Tyrone (1978) was set to music by Arnold Schoenberg and drawn from Eugene O'Neill's Long Days Journey Into Night. The poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay was the starting point for the 1987 Sonnet, to an original score by Eugene Lester. The duet Shadow of Her Sister (1960), to music by Robert H. Waldman, was based on F. Garcia Lorca's La Casa de Bernarda Alba. By guest choreographer Kenneth Topping is his Robot Man, an ingenious solo about "information overload," with sounds of constantly changing stations on a radio, complete with snippets of music, talk, news, and static. Topping has set the solo, which he premiered 20 years ago, on French dancer Gildas Lemmonier, a new member of the Graham Company.
Classic Contemporary Dance Heritage, Ltd.
THE DEBORAH ZALL PROJECT: IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN, AND GUESTS
Guest Choreographer: KENNETH TOPPING
performed by current and former members of the Martha Graham Dance Company:
Martha Graham Studio Theatre, 55 Bethune Street
Tickets: $25; $10 for students & seniors
Reservations: www.smarttix.com; or 212.868.4444 Deborah Zall received her training at the Martha Graham School and pursued an independent career as a solo performer and choreographer. In addition to her own works, her repertory includes dances, many created especially for her, by Jane Dudley, Stuart Hodes, Igal Perry, Ethel Winters, Norman Walker, Anna Sokolow, and others, usually highlighting her strong dramatic qualities.
As a member of the Denishawn Repertory Dancers, Zall received critical acclaim for her performances of dances by Graham and Ruth St. Denis. She appeared in concert numerous times with her mentor Bertram Ross, who gave her the legacy of his work, which she makes available for staging.
Zall has appeared throughout the U.S. and at the Edinburgh Festival, the Cannes Festival and the Biennal de la Danse in France, Contempo Tanz in Guatemala, south Bank Center and The Place in London, and throughout West Germany, where she was hailed as "a great artist...a remarkable missionary of modern dance."
Ms. Zall has recently staged Anna Sokolow's "Kaddish" for 10-member ensembles at the Middlesex University in London, the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, and the NYS Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, NY.